Gov. John Bel Edwards and Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development announced Wednesday an e-commerce initiative to empower the online performance of Louisiana’s small businesses. The goal of LASmallBizOnline.com – with support from Shopify, a leading global commerce company – is making Louisiana firms more competitive during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Small businesses are playing a critical role in Louisiana’s recovery from the pandemic, and we’re putting them in position to do even more,” Gov. Edwards said. “The tools we’re providing through Shopify give business owners a playbook for creating their first e-commerce site or for enhancing their existing site. We are particularly excited about the potential this initiative holds for building more successful, resilient businesses throughout rural Louisiana.”
At LASmallBizOnline.com, Louisiana business owners gain access to a 14-day free trial with Shopify and enhanced one-on-one support. They’ll find tools, tutorials and live webinars for creating company websites, bringing more customers to their sites, managing inventory and fulfilling orders. This year, Fast Company listed Shopify No. 7 among the world’s Most Innovative Companies. In 2019, Shopify powered the shopkeeper of the future to the tune of $61.1 billion in gross merchandise volume.
“Shopify believes in making commerce better for everyone, and that starts with reducing barriers for businesses and providing them with the tools they need to start, manage and grow their business,” said Shopify Experience Lead Kiersten Hanly. “We’re here to support the Louisiana business community, and look forward to connecting with local entrepreneurs as they look to bring their business online.”
New e-commerce users at LASmallBizOnline.com will find tools that put them in command of email marketing, site security, setting up taxes, distribution channels and more. For businesses with some e-commerce background, the site offers advanced tools for online marketing, sales growth, search optimization, and customer experience.
All participating businesses will gain access to Shopify customer support. They’ll have the option of building their own Shopify store, or engaging a Shopify partner to build an online store for them. LED anticipates bringing additional resources to the site from other e-commerce providers.
“This initiative gives Louisiana’s small businesses the opportunity to grow on an e-commerce platform built for success,” Secretary Pierson said. “The program delivers a quick start and professional assistance for smaller employers in building their online presence. At LASmallBizOnline.com, they’ll join a network of Louisiana companies that share their vision for a successful future.”
To help Louisiana’s small businesses benefit from the initiative, LED will share training resources with statewide partners in the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network and with regional economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and business and government trade associations throughout the state.